So if you already know what XenClient is, then you probably know that Citrix XenClient Express was announced at Citrix Synergy 2010 in San Francisco during Mark Templeton’s keynote. You probably also already know that it is a true “Type 1” hypervisor for laptops and that it will be THE solution for supporting a mobile virtual desktop, but have you tried it? Have you taken a moment to download and configure it? It’s actually very simple to download and configure, but just in case you would prefer to have step-by-step instructions please reference the XenClient Express Proof of Concept Implementation Guide.

You can download XenClient as a stand-alone CD image and simply install it on a supported laptop (the laptop hardware requirements are listed in the User’s Guide). The whole process only takes a few minutes. Once XenClient is running on the laptop, you can build local virtual machines and assess the functionality of the release candidate software.

To understand the complete XenClient solution, then I would also recommend that you download the Synchronizer virtual machine. Synchronizer is the back-end virtual machine designed to centralize the management of the virtual desktops. Synchronizer can integrate with your existing AD environment and network. Again, all the steps for configuring the AD integration and assigning a Static IP are documented in the step-by-step guide.

Once you have installed XenClient, you can also review the experimental functionality of Secure Application Sharing between virtual machines. Let’s say you created a corporate desktop mandated for all users and push it out using Synchronizer, but then your user population has a variety of personal desktops where they install their own applications, tools, etc. Secure Application Sharing allows users to work in their personal desktop while displaying and accessing a business application running on the corporate desktop. It allows business and personal applications to run side-by-side in the same view delivering a great user experience but with strong isolation between the two environments. This is kind of a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Users are happy to finally have some freedom to customize their personal virtual desktop and you, the administrator, are happy to have business applications locked down in a secure corporate desktop. Please note, this functionality is still considered experimental.

Again, all the install, configuration, and demonstration steps to get this environment up and running are outlined in the XenClient Express Proof of Concept Implementation Guide with additional information and videos available on XenClient Central and Citrix.com. Happy installing!